Charles W. Donovan, 88 of Newport, passed away on Sunday, November 12, 2017 at home. He was the husband of the late Francoise (LaRue) Donovan.
Born April 10, 1929 in Newport, RI, he was the son of the late Charles C. Donovan and Gladys (Jackman) Donovan.
As a youth Chas initially lived at the corner of Grafton and Thames Streets, then at the family homestead at West Narragansett Avenue in the area initially settled by his great grandfather “BlackJack” Sullivan. He earned his Eagle badge as a youth in Boy Scouts, which inspired his grandsons to earn their Eagle rank. He also delivered milk in the mornings before school for Manny Garcia.
He graduated Rogers in 1947, where he was active in the ROTC program, like several of his grandchildren, and joined the Navy. While in the Navy, on a St. Lawrence seaway cruise which stopped in Quebec City, Canada he met the love of his life, Francoise. They courted for several years and married in 1953.
He left the Navy to work for IBM in 1957. They quickly asked him if he would like to learn computer programming, subsequently working in that field most of his life. Working for IBM took him to Woburn, MA for several years and then to the Mid-Hudson Valley town of Red Hook, NY. There he was active in the VFW, serving on their honor guard which at the time was considered to be the best VFW Honor Guard in NY State. With the honor guard he also played the part of a WWI soldier at the Olde Rhinebeck Aerodrome and as a Revolutionary War soldier in our nation’s bicentennial. He also served as scoutmaster of his sons’ Boy Scout troop.
In 1978 he got a job with Sperry-Univac and thus was able to return to his beloved 5th Ward. There he became an active member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade committee and the AOH Pipe and Drums. He was the Grand Marshall of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2012. He served on the Newport Waterfront commission helping the Harbormaster as the eyes and ears for King Park. He was a parishioner and Eucharistic Minister at St. Augustin’s Church. He enjoyed sailing throughout his life. He joined his sons in Civil War reenacting were he portrayed a soldier in the Third Arkansas. His ancestors fought in both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War were they fought for the Union Army.
He was predeceased by his mother Gladys Donovan (Jackman) and father Charles (Neil) Donovan.
He is survived by his son C. Kevin Donovan and his wife Patty of Portsmouth, son Jacques Donovan and wife Judy of Rhinebeck, NY and daughter Michelle Brennan and husband John of Newport. Also, grandchildren Paul, Kyle, Anna, Robin and Jalen of Portsmouth, Connor, Vaughn, and Katy of Rhinebeck, NY, Bailey, Michael, and Mackenzie of Newport and several great grandchildren. He is now reunited with his beloved Francoise.
Visiting hours will be held Wednesday, November 15, 2017 from 4-7 pm in the O’Neill-Hayes Funeral Home, 465 Spring Street, Newport. A Mass of Christian Burial will be on Thursday, November 16, 2017 at St. Augustin’s Church, Carroll Avenue, Newport at 10 am. Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, 931 Jefferson Blvd Ste 3004, Warwick, RI 02886.